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Mexican Grain Bowl

Here is my version of the Perfect Mexican Grain Bowl. Get creative using my ideas and make your own!

Mexican Grain Bowl 1

I spent the weekend working on some new recipes and in the process I ended up with FAR too much left over rice. We have all been there, right? You look at the dried quantity, end up cooking far too much and half of the rice is popped in the fridge to be forgotten about. 

This year I am trying to minimise my food waste by getting creative with odds and ends I would usually throw away. Not only is this better for the environment (a kilo of rice takes 2497L of water to produce) but I am putting all the money I am saving on my weekly grocery budget into a “treat yo self” fund for the end of the year. Win, win situation!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this vegan?

Go for it! Dry-fried and marinated tofu, seitan strips, or any other vegan meat replacement would work perfectly here. Top with your favourite vegan condiments, veggies and you’re good to go! 


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Mexican Grain Bowl recipe

Mexican Grain Bowl

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  • Author: Jess Bunn


This is the perfect “recipe” for using up some Sunday roast chicken, rice and veggies. The beauty of a grain bowl is that you can use whatever is at hand and make the #notsaddesklunch of your wildest dreams.



Start with a grain base

I used a mix of brown and wild rice, but you can use basmati, jasmine, quinoa, millet or even pearl barley. Use 1 cup per person.

Add your protein

I chose to use my leftover roast chicken, which got shredded with a fork and fried until crispy, in a little oil, over a medium/high heat. I finished the chicken with a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper to taste.

Steak, leftover stew, bolognese (add some cumin and chili to taste while reheating for a Mexican vibe) and roast pork will all work fantastically.

Crunch and texture

Here are my ideas, but add whatever you are craving

  • Corn: I simply pan fried mine on a high heat with some oil. Don’t be afraid to blacken it slightly, it will taste great!
  • Radish: I sliced mine thinly for crunch and freshness.
  • Mixed leaves: I dressed mine simply with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Red Onion: You can add this in raw or make a quick pickle!
    1. In a mug microwave 1/2 a cup of white wine or apple cider vinegar with 1 Tablespoon of sugar (honey works too).
    2. Microwave until boiling, about 1-2 minutes.
    3. While the vinegar is in the microwave thinly slice a small red onion.
    4. Add the onion to the vinegar; making sure the onion is submerged (if not add a little more vinegar).
    5. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and leave to pickle for 15 mins minimum.
  • Sliced jalapeños.
  • Tomato. You can either halve cherry tomatoes, or dice up a larger tomato. I tossed mine with salt and pepper to taste and added some chopped coriander (optional).
  • Feta: add some creaminess with feta or sour cream.
  • Other great toppings include: Steamed broccoli, shredded carrots, raw corn cut from the cob, fresh chilli, avocado, cheddar cheese, the last few crumbs at the bottom of the nacho bag (Mexican croutons!), raw or sautéed spinach, thinly sliced raw kale and even roasted veggies.

Dressing: Optional

I finished my bowl simply with a squeeze of lemon.

You can also use Mexican tomato salsa, mayo with a little grated garlic for extra zing, Sriracha chili sauce, or yoghurt (spiced with chili flakes, a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper).

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